Reading doesn’t just teach us new things and provide entertainment. It offers substantial benefits for the mind and body. Benefits extend to children and adults of all ages. The youngest of our population, those who are exposed to reading before preschool, show increased levels of performance in formal education. Whereas, older adults who read are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. From bedtime rituals to a 68% reduction in stress levels, reading a book keeps a person healthy in many ways.
In one study, participants read 30 pages of a book the night before an MRI scan. The results showed extra activity in the left temporal cortex. That’s the area associated with language. These results demonstrate that the brain is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it gets. With the convenience of electronic readers this mental gym can be picked up anywhere!
There are other mental health benefits, reducing stress and easing depression. Self-help books offer uplifting content and stimulate relaxation.
Reading about people and fictional characters achieving greatness is inspirational. For example, people who’ve read about characters who assert themselves and ask a boss for a raise are more likely to do the same thing. Even reading novels can improve your memory as your brain works to memorize characters and important plot points.
Combing through a book offers endless possibilities. Find books you’d love to read about. It could help you maintain a sharp mind into old age and inspire new life choices.5k